A common thing I see regarding checks is that many people worry if they can still use a check after they move out of their current address. I didn’t know either, so I did my best to research as much as I could to find an explanation to share with you.
So can you use checks with old addresses? Yes, you can use a check with an old address if the routing and account numbers are correct. Banks will consider the check usable because they are still able to take the money from your checking account.
While the best thing to do would be to order a new check as soon as you move, it isn’t always a priority.
If you need to write a check urgently, but it has an old address, you can use it without any issues. If the check has the same account and routing number, you’re good to go.
Can I Deposit A Check If The Address Is Wrong?
Yes, you can deposit checks that have the wrong address on them as long as the name on the check matches your ID. This will vary from bank to bank though based on policy.
In this scenario, your employer issued a paycheck with either your old address or a completely wrong address. As soon as you realize the error, it’s best to notify your company’s HR department so that they can fix it for you.
If you want to cash the check but it has the wrong address, you’re more likely to run into problems. Most check-cashing places require a picture ID that includes an address. Since the addresses won’t match, they’ll probably not cash the check for you.
Do You Still Need Paper Checks?
Yes, there are many scenarios where you still need physical checks. Despite living in an age of online payments and digital currency, using a paper check can come in handy.
Here are reasons why you still need paper checks:
- Avoid minimum credit card purchase requirements
- Can still pay during credit card machine outages
- Forgo extra fees for credit card usage
- Easily traceable over cash
- Versatility for gift giving over gift cards
- Some businesses only accept checks or money orders
- Less expensive than money orders
How to Order New Checks The Easy Way
People order new checks for two reasons: They have to refill their old checks or change their permanent address. In this case, we are going to be focusing on the latter.
There are many ways you can order a new check; some are more secure, affordable, or easier than others. I am going to go over each option so you can choose the best option for you.
Ordering New Checks Through Your Bank
This is – by far – the easiest and most secure way to order your checks. You don’t have to write down your account and routing number since the bank already has that information. And since the bank has all your data secure, you don’t have to worry about any issues or mistakes in your new check.
To order through your bank, you have to call them or visit them and tell them that you need to order new checks. You can change your permanent address or other additional things if you want. Some banks allow you to do this entire process online, so I suggest asking your bank if they do that!
After everything is ordered, you can expect your check within one or two weeks, depending on the bank. You can choose to either get it delivered at your home or to the bank for you to pick up in person.
Some banks cover the costs of ordering new checks while others charge you full price for them. Consider calling your bank to get more specific information.
Ordering New Checks Online
This is usually more comfortable and affordable than ordering through your bank, but it’s not as secure in some cases. Many sites provide customizable designs, colors, and other things.
The reason that some people don’t feel safe ordering checks online is safety. They don’t feel comfortable sharing their information with an unknown seller.
That doesn’t mean that ordering checks online is dangerous. I’ve tried this before, and have had great results. If you want to try it out, order from trustworthy sites only.
Print New Checks At Home
This is the least popular option among users, but it’s still an option if you want to try it out. A check only needs to have your account information on it to work. If printing a check at home, you do need to use special stock paper made for checks.
This can allow you to get a new check in the fastest way possible since you’re in control of all the processes. Keep in mind that some banks have a specific format for their checks.
Make sure that you follow your bank’s guidelines before printing your checks. If you make a mistake, you may have issues when trying to use them with the bank.
Now that we’ve gone through all the options, what is the best option to order new checks? I always suggest ordering your checks through your bank. It’s the safest and easiest option on the entire list.
Personal Check Alternatives
If you don’t feel comfortable using your check with an old address, you can use some alternatives until you get your new check. The two main options are a ‘Cashier’s Check’ or a ‘Money Order.’
This type of check is issued and signed by your bank. In this case, the bank takes a designated amount of money from your account and then issues a check to the business that you want to pay. Most banks charge a fee of approximately $10 for each check.
Some businesses ask for these kinds of checks because it gives an extra layer of security to the payment since the bank is paying the company directly, which guarantees that the money arrives and doesn’t bounce.
You can get this type of ‘check’ at many convenience stores, grocery stores, postal service, etc. These checks are paid for with cash, traveler’s check, or debit card. In this case, you can use them to purchase something or send your money to someone else. Money orders are easier to get, but they may not be as secure as a cashier’s check.
Is An Address On Checks Required?
No, an address on checks isn’t required as long as the routing and account numbers are valid.
Some people believe that you need to get your address printed on your check for them to work. When I was doing my research, I found, to my surprise, that it’s not necessary at all. You can order or print your checks without having to put your address on them.
This is perfect if you are always moving to different locations. This way, you can use your checks with no issues, even after you move.
Keep in mind that some businesses may ask for checks with your address on them. You can get a cashier’s check that has that information, or you can provide the address yourself when you’re paying.
Not many people are issuing new checks with their addresses on them. It saves money, time, and it contributes to reducing waste. If you’d like more privacy with your payments, I also recommend that you print your checks without an address.
How to Correct a Mistake on a Check
If you’ve ever made a mistake when writing a check, you don’t have to panic; it’s a very common issue! Some of these mistakes involve writing the check to the wrong person, putting in an incorrect amount, or even putting the wrong date. Thankfully, you can fix these mistakes quickly.
You can fix the mistake in two ways; you can write an entirely new check, or you can cross out the wrong information. If you’re planning on doing the latter, check with your bank to confirm whether they accept checks with corrected mistakes.
In the case of correcting the mistakes, all you have to do is take a blue or black pen and cross out the error. After that, you can put the correct information to the side, and write your initials next to the correction to ensure that the bank knows it was you. While you can cross out mistakes, try to avoid heavy scribbling on the check. Doing this can automatically void your check.
In most cases, you are not going to have any issues correcting mistakes, but if you want to make sure that the check is not going to be rejected, I suggest that you void that check and write a new one.
If you make corrections to a check, some banks may think that the person cashing it out altered the information in there. Some small corrections, such as a misspelled name, usually get a pass; other corrections, such as filling in the wrong amount, may not.
If you want to void your old check and start all over again, you can get a pen and write ‘VOID’ over the entire check. Make sure that you update your checkbook register with that information, so you don’t forget what happened with that check.
Do Old Checks Expire or Can You Keep Using Them?
For filled-in checks, you can use them up until six months after they’re written, in most cases. After that time passes, it’s up to your bank to decide if it wants to deposit the funds or not.
On the other hand, unwritten checks don’t expire as long as your account information remains valid. If you were wondering if you can use your old personal checks until you get your new ones, you can!
How to Dispose of Old Checks Properly
If you got your new checks already, you don’t have much use for your old ones. There are a lot of ways to get rid of your old checks, but you should use the method that you feel more secure with.
I found that shredding my old checks is the most secure option since I can take the leftover pieces and put them in different trash bags. This is the shredder I use because it crosscuts as well.
This way, I can make absolutely sure that I’m not going to see those checks again. If you don’t have a shredder on hand, I recommend using a scissor to cut up your sensitive information in tiny pieces.
If shredding, burning, or storing them isn’t a comfortable option for you, you can ask your bank if they can shred it. In most cases, the bank is more than happy to deal with your old checks.
Using a check with an old address, or fixing mistakes within your checks are very common issues that people have in their lives. Fortunately, they are easily fixable! Remember that if you’re ever in doubt, call your bank to verify any specific information.
Have you used checks with an old address? Ever run into any problems doing so? Let me know your experience in the comments.